Management of cutaneous lupus erythematosus with low-dose methotrexate: indication for modulation of inflammatory mechanisms
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There is no consensus about an effective and safe treatment for patients with cutaneous lupus erythematosus (LE) who are refractory to antimalarials and/or low-dose oral glucocorticosteroids. Therefore, we retrospectively analyzed the clinical data and laboratory findings of 12 patients who received weekly administrations of 10–25 mg methotrexate (MTX). Previous treatment with antimalarials and/or glucocorticosteroids was not effective or had to be withdrawn because of side effects. Of 12 patients, ten showed improvement of their skin lesions; two patients did not respond to low-dose MTX; two patients cleared rapidly, and five other patients had long-lasting remissions of 5–24 months after stopping MTX treatment. A reduction of circulating autoantibodies was detected in five patients. In all patients, MTX was well tolerated subjectively and objectively. Weekly low-dose MTX is useful for the treatment of cutaneous LE, particularly in those cases which need long-term treatment and/or do not respond to standard therapeutic regimens.
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